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Old 03-23-2010, 03:52 PM
 
8 posts, read 13,262 times
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Nothing set in stone yet but the possibility exists that I may be relocating from Houston to San Fran. I know very little about your city and have been impressed by the volume of information on this forum and am hoping to gain some insight.

A recurrent theme that I have heard when speaking to people in my line of work has been the Pacific Heights neighborhood. I'm certainly not in the market to buy any time in the near future, so could anyone give me an approximation of what a single guy with minimal space requirements could expect to pay monthly around there? I don't mind small and consider small to be around 500 sq. ft. I think I can comfortably go as high as $2500, but would obviously prefer less.

Is there generally a waiting list for rental housing?

What rates can I expect for electricity?

Does the city levy income tax?

How do the tax brackets break down?

What kind of food bill for an organophile budding chef (I cook a lot)?

Is a car necessary in San Fran? (the idea of not having a car is extremely alien to a Houstonian)

I appreciate any responses, guys. Thanks for your time.

CT
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Old 03-23-2010, 04:14 PM
 
Location: Northern California
3,722 posts, read 14,723,432 times
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No city income tax in SF and you don't need a car - public transit goes everywhere within SF. Why Pacific Heights? It's an expensive area.
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Old 03-23-2010, 04:25 PM
 
Location: San Jose, CA
7,688 posts, read 29,149,957 times
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I think the budget is doable, but only just. The range for an apartment with everything you're looking for will be about $2000-2500. Personally, I would take a less expensive rental in a nice part of Oakland and take the train given a good-paying job in SF, but I'm very sensitive to housing costs.

Craigslist is going to be your bible when it comes to rentals. There are a very few places that will take waiting lists, the ones that are corporate managed like Archstone in SoMa, but for the most part, they're posted once available and they will want a tenant immediately or at most, at the beginning of the next month.

You can expect a fairly light electric bill since you will never need A/C. I've never seen a bill over $100.

No city income tax. Yet.

If you can do without a car, it's better, but I don't know about groceries in that area. There are certainly some markets within walking distance.
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Old 03-23-2010, 05:40 PM
 
Location: SF Bay Area
802 posts, read 2,264,946 times
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You should be able to find a place in Pac Heights for that budget, but you'll likely be in an older unit (if that doesn't bother you). You might even be able to get a place with parking as well; if your unit doesn't have parking, expect to pay $250+/month for off-street reserved parking. The electricity bill can vary a lot depending on the construction of the unit - older units tend to be less energy efficient, especially when it comes to heating.

With regard to withholding rates, you can find that information here: Rates and Withholding

Note that you'll hit the high rates pretty quickly. For example, a single person hits the 10.5% marginal bracket after going above $46K in adjusted annualized salary. Additionally, you'll also have SDI withheld (up to the annual limit) in addition to your normal state income tax.

As for your food bill, it will completely vary depending on what you cook and where you buy it (e.g. Whole Foods vs. Chinatown).
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Old 03-23-2010, 08:29 PM
 
8 posts, read 13,262 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by humboldtrat View Post
No city income tax in SF and you don't need a car - public transit goes everywhere within SF. Why Pacific Heights? It's an expensive area.
I've spoken with four people who are possible coworkers about neighborhoods to consider. They all dropped Pacific Heights as a conveniently located, nice neighborhood but I don't want to spend-spend-spend on a rental property (I'm starting to wonder if that was some kind of joke). I'm really a fairly spartan, minimalistic guy. I need a place to run and a good free-weight gym and, hopefully, hopefully, hopefully a natural gas range and a place to set up a grill.

I definitely appreciate the suggestions - please keep 'em coming if you have anything to add.

I'm curious about the Oakland suggestion... How long of a commute could I expect into "downtown"?
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Old 03-23-2010, 09:24 PM
 
Location: San Jose, CA
7,688 posts, read 29,149,957 times
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Downtown being somewhere around the Market Street corridor, it would be 20-25 minutes on BART from the Rockridge or Lake Merritt districts of Oakland. The rents can be easily half as much as Pacific Heights.
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